Laverne H. Bardy
Our plane was scheduled to take off momentarily. My cousin and I stood at the airline counter and presented proof of who we are. I showed the photo on my license. Phyllis had a passport. The airline attendant looked at Phyllis’ passport, then at Phyllis, then back at the passport.
“This picture doesn’t look like you,” she snarled.
Wise-guy that I am I said, “Oh, pulleeease, nobody looks like their passport picture, thank goodness.”
“No,” she grunted. “This doesn’t look like you.”
She held up the passport. By George, she was right. The picture looked nothing like Phyllis, because she’d brought her husband’s passport by mistake.
Phillis and I doubled over with laughter, but stopped abruptly when the attendant informed us Phyllis could not enter the plane without photo identification. Me swearing that she really was Phyllis didn’t alter her decision.
Sweat formed on Phyllis’ forehead as she foraged through her purse, and came up with her Costco photo ID card. The attendant squinted, examined the picture, then waved us through, which neither of us understood because her husband’s passport picture looked more like Phyllis than her Costco photograph.
Because ours were last minute reservations we were stuck in the last row, next to the rest rooms. The seats were tight and didn’t lean back. My knees narrowly missed touching my nose. It was hot. Suddenly, I didn’t feel well. I told Phyllis I needed to remove my tight, restricting bra or I was going to be sick. I asked her to cover me.
I had the window seat; Phyllis was on the aisle. She looked around and said all was clear.
I leaned as far forward as I could – which wasn’t far considering how close my seat was to the one in front of me – and unhooked my bra. Then, I worked magic in the most discrete way possible as I reached into the jacket’s sleeves, and bent each elbow in a way that allowed me to slip my bra straps over them. Once my shoulders were free, I reached under the front of my jacket and pulled the bra out. A pretty smooth operation, if I do say so.
Suddenly Phyllis, who had been standing in the aisle, concealing me from other passengers, fell over her seat and laughed so hard and for so long she was unable to catch her breath. The flight attendant came by and asked if there was something she could do, but Phyllis was incoherent.
Our goal had been to avoid attention, but instead we’d become the center of attraction. Everyone was looking. Everyone, while Phyllis continued laughing.
Finally, gasping, she gathered her wits. “A man was behind me, in the out-cove between the restrooms. He must have been in the restroom when you began your strip, and came out in time to enjoy your entire act. By the time I realized he was there, your puppies had already been freed.”
I was mortified. I wanted to fall through a hole in the plane. But, suddenly, I rethought the situation. I wasn’t going to let it bother me. I had done this man a service. Because of me he had a great story to share with his buddies; one I was certain he would embellish.
In the meantime, I couldn’t figure out how to leave the plane without him seeing me. Then I realized he probably never saw my face.
I had purchased an Easy-Pass ticket Online. When I arrived at the airport I brought my ticket to an Easy-Pass check-in machine and answered the prompted questions. One question stumped me so I asked a desk attendant for assistance. She requested identification. I reached under the top of my scoop neck blouse and whipped out my license and credit card, where I’d filed them for easy access. The attendant laughed loudly, and informed all surrounding attendants of my efficient filing system. I enjoyed a laugh with them and left for the plane.
Ten minutes later, while in the Ladies Room I heard the following on the loud speaker: Will Laverne Bardy please return to the check-in counter for her license and credit card, on which she can expect to find several new charges for the Home Shopping Network?
Laughing all the way, I retrieved my card from the same woman who had assisted me a few moments earlier.
It was time to enter the plane. A male voice announced that passengers with an F or a B code on their tickets would be subject to security checks. I had neither an F or a B, but that same attendant was now standing at the gate with a security guard who was clutching a wand and pointing it at me.
“Why me? I asked. I don’t have an F or a B on my ticket.”
“Because we like you,” he smiled.
The attendant, with a huge grin, instructed the guard to pay special attention to my chest because knowing my penchant for storing things there, I could have a concealed weapon.
By now I was laughing hysterically, the attendant was howling and the guard, who was frisking me with his wand, was loving his assignment.
On my return trip, I lost my license in the airport. An armed guard found it but refused to return it unless I gave him my phone number. What could I do? He had a gun.
Laverne Bardy is the author of “Driving Backwards on a One-Way Street: A Savvy Senior’s Map to Finding Humor in Everything.” How to order the book, as well as general information about Laverne, can be found at lavernebardy.com.